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Argentina: Milei to explain drastic measures

Wednesday, December 20th 2023 - 10:42 UTC
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Argentina: Milei to explain drastic measures on national TV and radio Argentina: Milei to explain drastic measures on national TV and radio

Argentine President Javier Milei will go on national television on Wednesday to explain the scope of his most-encompassing emergency decree (DNU) to deregulate the economy with more than 600 provisions.

With this measure, the government of La Libertad Avanza (LLA) wants to change the rules of the game, which it says have crippled the Argentine economy. However, even before the contents of the measure were known, constitutional scholars and opposition leaders alike protested that a DNU would not have the legal force to change what has been established by law, particularly some items that the Constitution explicitly excludes from the President's competence.

The president's message, to be broadcast around noon, will make the daily briefing by spokesman Manuel Adorni unnecessary, it was reported in Buenos Aires.

Among the changes to be announced, one is said to deal with labor issues, potentially easing the burden on employers with, for example, longer internships, coupled with changes in severance pay. Other changes will reportedly simplify bureaucracy, abolish the Housing Rent Act, and restore an income tax on almost all workers, just weeks after Milei voted in the opposite direction as a congressman.

Also on Wednesday, left-wing social organizations are planning a demonstration to mark another anniversary of the 2001 revolt against then-president Fernando de la Rua, in which several protesters were killed by police before he resigned.

Wednesday's march will pose a challenge to Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who has announced an anti-picketing protocol to prevent roads from being blocked. Any victim of repression by law enforcement would be added to her tab, as protesters remember that she was also a minister under De la Rúa.

It will also test the government's strength, as it has announced that all social assistance funds will be withheld from beneficiaries who participate in illegal protests. According to Bullrich's instructions, people should only demonstrate on sidewalks and never interfere with the right of others to move freely.

Miilei held a meeting at the Casa Rosada on Tuesday with all 23 provincial governors and Buenos Aires Mayor Jorge Macri. They pledged to help the government get the country out of the current crisis but many of them rejected the return of the income tax.

”The governors raised the problem of the lack of financing due to the loss of (the income tax and VAT cut), and the president committed to solving it. It will be restored during one year in relation to the budget (September to September),” according to Casa Rosada sources quoted by local media.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

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